Monday, October 27, 2014

My ten wives (Of alcoholism)

  Hello, my name is Mathias and I'm an alcoholic... Those are the nine words I never said in
an A.A. meeting. You see, I'm an alcoholic and I have only gone to one A.A. meeting in my life. I was there for a whole 5 minutes and decided this wasn't for me. I left. It took many years for me to realize I was an alcoholic and it took quite a few more for me to do something about. Now, I'm encouraging others to seek help through my stories of addiction. Let me take you through the 10 signs of alcoholism and how I was married to them for years. I call them the ten wives of alcoholism.


Memory Loss

 
  Memory loss? I had way more than my fair share of memory loss. As a matter of fact there are gaps that measure in years where I had trouble remembering what happened the night before. To this day I have trouble recalling what happened during 2006. I only remember drinking, passing out, then waking up and drinking more. That's about the way it went for me for all of 2006. I don't even remember going to the bathroom for a whole year! That is what alcoholism can do to you. You wake up the next day and can't remember little if anything that happened the night before or the year before for that matter!




Denial

  Denying that you have a problem with alcohol is a big sign that you may have a problem. I was married to denial for years before I realized I had a problem and needed help. Anytime someone brought up that I may have a problem I went ballistic. I'd totally go off on them telling them they didn't know what they were talking about and to mind their own business and leave me alone. I even got into a few knock-down, drag-outs about my drinking and one of those fights was with another drunk who told me I had a problem! Can you believe that one?


Loss of Time

  Alcoholism can make you lose all track of time. You can easily get your a.m. and p.m confused. It's real easy to do especially when it's dark at both of those times. One time my alcoholism was so bad I showed up for work at 6pm thinking it was 6am. The sad part about that was it was on a Saturday. You can lose track of days, weeks, months, and even years. I have confused weekdays for weekends and vice-versa. There were quite a few times I didn't know what day it even was.


The Inability to Deal with Life

  For myself, alcoholism left me not caring about anything. I didn't want to deal with work, family, or anything for that matter. All I wanted to do was drink so I could keeping from having to deal with or remember any responsibilities I may have had. It got to the point that I just walked away from everything I owned and my friends and family. I didn't care. I didn't want anything to do with anyone or anything. Alcoholism can leave you so disabled that simply dealing with everyday life becomes extremely hard.






Behavioral Swings

  Mood swings or behavioral swings were the main signal to others that I had been drinking. I was usually quiet and kept to myself most of the time. But when I started drinking people knew it. My behavior and mood both changed to the complete opposite of who I was. I went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. I became very vocal and belligerent. I wanted to fight and argue. My temper became very short and I would become extremely cross with others.


Tolerance Levels

   After years of alcoholism your tolerance for alcohol increases greatly. For me, my tolerance for alcohol was very high. When I started drinking years ago a six pack of 12oz. beers were way more than enough for me. when I finally quit drinking, I was drinking at least 2 cases (48 12oz. beers) a day. I'm sure there was a fair amount of whiskey that was drank during that time every day also. At least a pint of liquor or more a day to go with the beer. It's very easy for your tolerance for alcohol to increase before you know it.


Physical Symptoms

  The physical symptoms from alcohol vary from person to person. The symptoms I had where very uncomfortable when I needed a drink. I would sweat a lot. I would have the shakes terribly. It was like my whole body would seize up and I looked and acted like I had rigor mortis. The simple act of moving, eating, showering, or even going to the bathroom was extremely hard to do because my body would become so stiff from the withdrawals. It was impossible to do any type of activity unless I had alcohol. Even getting out of bed was a problem unless I had three or four beers first. I always kept a six pack of beer or a pint of whiskey by my bed just so I won't have to go looking for it. I needed it or I couldn't even get out of bed.


Emotional Withdrawal

  With alcoholism you have a tendency to have emotional withdrawals. With me, I just wanted to withdrawal from everything. If anything came up that even remotely looked like it would be or cause a problem, I didn't want to deal with it. People, work, or life, if it could cause me a problem in one form or another I didn't want to deal with it. If the sun came up that morning, there was going to be a problem for me somewhere before the day was over so I might as well start drinking now so I don't have to deal with it. That's how I saw everyday life. I just didn't want to deal with any of it.





Unkept Promises

  Alcoholism can cause you to break promises again and again. You tell friends and family that you promise you'll quit and you never do,  breaking promise after promise. Now here is where I differ from other alcoholics. I never promised anyone that I would quit drinking. They complained about it and told me many times that I had a problem and I would tell them to shove off and leave me alone. I didn't want to hear it. But I never promised I would quit. I never said I would stop drinking. This is who I am take it or leave it. But I did break other types of promises. If I promised I would be somewhere I was either late or just decided not to show up or I actually just forgot because I was drinking. Promise to show up at a job? I promise I won't be there. Promise to help someone? I'm pretty sure to promise you I won't be there either. On very few occasions did I actually keep my promises to be somewhere or to help someone and when I did keep my promises I was usually too drunk by that time to be of any use to anyone. That's the kind of promises I broke.


Total Loss of Power

  Alcoholism can cause you to have complete loss of power or control over your drinking. For me? Most of the time I didn't care about how much I was going to drink. The more I drank, the better. I didn't want to control my drinking once I got my hands on alcohol. When I ran out I was on the hunt for more. If I had money for it, off to the liquor store I went. If the store didn't open up for a couple of more hours, well, since I was already there I would just wait in the parking lot until the store opened. If I was broke, I'd beg, borrow, pan handle, or do whatever I had to do to get more alcohol.


  For years alcohol was my lover, my spouse, my best friend, my worst enemy, my confidant, my arch nemesis. Alcohol was my everything. Then one day I came to realize alcohol was doing nothing but allowing me to dig myself deeper into a hole I wasn't able to get out of. That's when I decided to get help. I was living on the streets. I was dirty, broke, run down and beat up from years of drinking. I finally checked myself into a homeless shelter and started to get my life on track. It was five years ago this month that I started getting my life straightened out. It's been three years now since I left the homeless shelter. I now have a home, a good job and a wonderful fiancee.

  If you believe that it's impossible for you to get help for addiction, I'm living, breathing proof that the cycle of addiction can be broken once and for all. Don't let your addiction continue to control your life. Take control of your addiction. Seek out the help you need so you can start living your life and living your dreams!

  If you have a story of addiction that you would like to share or you have a story of recovery from addiction feel free to share it with others! Leave it in the comments below and maybe you too can be encouraging others to seek help through your story of addiction.

6 comments:

  1. Wow. This is so powerful and must have been very emotional to write. I can only thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. I wish you lots of strength to carry on with your journey. Keep blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Josie! Addiction is a powerful and an emotional rollercoaster ride that no one needs to buy a ticket for. My goal is to reach as many addicts as I can and hopefully encourage them to seek help through my stories of addiction. If I only reach one person and am able to help them then I have served my purpose. Thanks again for the encouragement! As long as I have a story to tell about addiction I will tell it. :)

      Delete
  2. Great post! Well done for the post and for divorcing addiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nancy! It was a rocking and rough marriage that was doing nothing but causing me grief.

      Delete
  3. Having had few alcoholics in the family the writing rang many bells.
    For me a pivotal point was when I understood that I can't stop someone else from drinking. I can't make an alcoholic into a non-alcoholic.
    After I realized that, so much energy was freed for other things.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for your comment Helina. For an addict to become free, they must first realize they have a problem and even then it can take many years for them to do something about it. Likewise, Someone trying to help someone see their addiction can take years and it may not be wise to pursue such a course. You can not make an addict a non-addict and like you said, once you realize you can't stop someone it does free up a lot of energy for other pursuits. Tank you again so much for your comment.

    ReplyDelete